Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eight is great!

Eight is a great age to be! So let's celebrate with an artist-themed party, shall we?

Cupcake painters palettes for the kids party.

A whole cake palette for the relatives the next day.

I guess I didn't learn my lesson about rainbow frosting from last year's mess, because oops, I did it again.

Here is the birthday girl and her sister in the calm before the guests arrive.

Supplies for our crayon melting project.

All it takes is a canvas,

a pack of crayons,

a hot glue gun,

and a hair dryer.

Pretty impressive. And oh-so-simple.

Who doesn't love a fruit kabob?!

Remember all those spray painted frames? They made a silly time of group photos.

All in all - a great time for being eight!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Have you been to the Ypsi Food Co-op recently?

I really need to get there more often. They have local ... everything. Well, almost everything. And fun alternatives to the automatic way we've been doing things. Like plasticware. They have some that's made of corn and is compostable. Not exactly my style, as I'd rather just bring my own silverware from home when I go a-picnic-ing. But I'm thinking school cafeteria here. Field Day. Class parties. And the like.

Anyway, I'm pleased, proud, and downright giddy to announce that some of my products are available for sale at The Ypsilanti Food Co-op! Swing by their location on River Street in Depot Town to pick up a Snack Pack, a Sandwich Wrap, or some Fabric Gift Bags!

As you know, all of my stuff is made from repurposed materials.

So use this as an excuse to get thee to Ypsi and visit the Co-op. With Depot Town around the corner and the Firehouse Museum just down the road, you could make a little trash-free day of it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Email Option!

Hey, all! If you would like to avoid checking here each day to see if we've planted, pureed, or spray painted anything new, I encourage you to subscribe via email. See the sidebar to the right.

What's new lately? Well, someone had a birthday, but that was so fun, I'll have to write about that separately.

I will share that a couple of weeks ago, we were hit with a silly virus that consisted of us having a fever high enough to make us feel rotten, but not high enough to make us sleep all day.

Solution: pretend that we homeschool.

The teachers sent homework home, and we got busy.

Judging from the smiles, they didn't mind a bit :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

we were framed!

Anyone else have mismatched picture frames, hanging around the house, engaged in idleness?

We had several.

Inspired by this post, I bought some spray paint. I wasn't brave enough for anything beyond black, so that's what I bought. Next we hauled the frames to the sidewalk.

Then, the fun began.

After the paint dried, the frames came back inside and we gathered some of the many random works of art that were floating from counter to wall to counter, not really knowing where to land.

Artwork, you have a home now!

And the extra frames are always fun for photo shoots!

Friday, October 14, 2011

7am = Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner time!

With the shift to the school year schedule, I noticed that 4 pm is not the best time to start dinner. We're tired at 4pm. We're in need of a snack. We're about to tackle homework. We're letting the dog out, answering the phone, and getting the mail.

Is 4pm like this at your house?

As much as I love dinners, I would really rather not think about it at 4pm.

So, I think about it at 7am, with the help of my crockpot!

First, I get breakfast going, usually pancakes or waffles (from a giant batch I make on the weekends), or some fast eggs. Then, the boxed lunch. I kiss the older child goodbye, then (ideally) enlist the younger child to help toss dinner in the slow cooker. By this time, it's barely 8am, and dinner is happily making itself.

We've tried several oldie and goodie recipes, as well as some fun, new strange ones. Here's a recap:

Chicken and Rice (before)

(and after, with sweet potato chips). Note: no recipe should be allowed to call for 3 cans of cream of whatever soup.

Beef Stroganoff (before)

(and after, over egg noodles)

Mile High Enchilada Pie (see Comments for recipe below)

We enjoyed saying this more than eating it.

Mediterranean Stew (before, how fun to put a half-lemon into the middle of it!)

Stuffed Garden Peppers (before)

Moroccan Stew (I loved all the flavors here!) (see Comments for recipe below)

And some Spiced Apple Butter. (This was surprisingly too flavorful for me. Next time I'll stick with a traditional apple butter recipe.)

Not pictured, but enjoyed anyway: Cashew Curry Chicken, Ceci/Garbanzo Soup, Black Bean Soup, Shredded Chicken Tacos.

I still hope to try Beef Barley Soup, Sauerkraut, and an Indian Bean Stew.

If y'all have some really great crockpot recipes, I can assure you, I'll try it. Send it my way!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall is fun.

Here's a peek into our living room this fall:

What does fall look like for you?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

By The Pound, Part 2

Well, once I discovered how fun, frugal, and fine it can be to buy goods in bulk, I didn't waste any time getting back to By The Pound.

This time I brought more jars and an empty oats container.

And I bought weird stuff: a chinese crunchy snack and dried vegetable chips. Sorry, no picture because they were gobbled up before the jars made it home.

I also bought normal stuff: oats, popcorn, falafel mix, tapioca, and pearl barley. Okay, maybe those last few items aren't totally normal, but at least I had heard of them before.

And aren't they pretty?

Once again, I thought how beautiful a few dozen jars would look lining my kitchen shelves.

I know what you're thinking: "Is that the Eiffel Tower I see peeking through the tapioca?"

Yes, it is.

Sometimes I see ideas online (like this Paper City Paris) that are meant for homeschoolers and we try them out. Why should homeschoolers have all the fun?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

textiles were calling us

My kids love to forage in my craft stash when they are bored and looking for a project.

Oh, wait, maybe it is *I* that loves to forage there.

No matter, we were all tickled to find a pile of burlap pieces that I snagged at a yard sale over the summer.

(Note: I'm not one of those hardcore yardsalers. I go to one yard sale a summer and hope for the best. I have friends who are self-proclaimed hardcore and I have been known to hand them my list and depend on the power of bartering later. Thanks for putting up with this, SL!)

Burlap, combined with plastic needles, yarn, and a bit of childhood inspiration yields quite a bit of beauty.

I love watching little hands working to put a plan into action.